Sunday, December 30, 2007


Let's see. The most recent Friday Five asked us to list five memorable moments from 2007. I am not sure I can remember 5 but I'll give it my best shot.

1) The gall bladder attack that put me in the hospital overnight last January. It was at a rural hospital, and I swear the surgeon wanted to cut me open then and there. But I made them wait.

2) The ensuing April surgery to remove the offending organ. I went back to work too early and slowed the healing process, but some changes I had been making throughout the year helped it all go smoothly.

3) Saying goodbye to yet another senior class.

4) Taking up golf again, and remembering what a great game it is and how I love it, and why I stopped in the first place.

5) As a result of the golf, renewing my friendships with some of the finest people in the world over at The Valley.

I did better than I thought.

I wonder what 2008 will bring.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Free Rice

So I was emailed a link to a really fun site - for those of us who like words. Check out Free Rice to play and donate food to the hungry.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

And Just Like That...'s almost two weeks gone by. What is it about this season that gets people so busy? Good intentions, I think, with the shopping and the parties and the special events. And, to some extent, a "job hazard" for any kind of musician, music teacher, or clergy member.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Had any? I have. In spite of not having time to blog, and spending much time running, my inner peace is intact. Because busy doesn't have to mean not peaceful. There is a such thing as "good busy," in my opinion. I enjoy shopping for gifts for friends - so long as I have some idea about what I am looking for. And I like parties. Small ones, where I can talk to a few people at a time for something more than small talk. And special events are fun, even if I seem to be in charge of them a lot.

But it sure does make the time go by fast. As they say, time flies when you're having fun.

Wishing peace to all of my friends, from the Prince of Peace Himself.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Five - Rejoice!

This week's Friday Five is about the third week in advent.

Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice!

Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.

What makes you rejoice about:

1. Waiting?

Realizing that there is something worth waiting for.

2. Darkness?

That it isn't actually a thing - just the absence of light - and at some point, dawn breaks through.

3. Winter?

The reminder when it snows that my sins have been washed whiter than snow.

4. Advent?

That we are celebrating and preparing for Christ's coming.

5. Jesus' coming?

That He is coming back.

Monday, December 10, 2007


The Yankee Swap. I think in the midwest it is called the White Elephant trade or swap or something.

By some people it is basically seen an excuse to regift unwanted items. Why anyone wants to hang onto unwanted items jsut to inflict them on others is beyond me.

I really don't like the Yankee Swap. In fact, I have seriously considered revising my answer on one of the Friday Five - Grumpy Edition questions from a couple of weeks back. Question: "Tradition you hate." Answer: "The Yankee Swap."

But I am a good sport so I will participate for the social aspect of it, and laugh at the stupid things people open, and play the game.

Even if I do end up with a Bugs Bunny Chia pet.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Sometimes I can't resist.

You Are Apple Pie

You're the perfect combo of comforting and traditional.
You prefer things the way you've always known them.
You'll admit that you're old fashioned, and you don't see anything wrong with that.
Your tastes and preferences are classic. And classic never goes out of style.

Those who like you crave security.
People can rely on you to be true to yourself - and true to them.
You're loyal, trustworthy, and comfortable in your own skin.
And because of these qualities, you've definitely earned a lot of respect.

Friday Five - Preparation, Preparation

For this week's Friday Five, Sally wrote:

This has been a difficult week for me, the death of a little six year old has overshadowed our advent preparations, and made many of us here in Downham Market look differently at Christmas. With that in mind I ask whether you are the kind of person that likes everything prepared well in advance, are you a last minute crammer, or a bit of a mixture.....

Here then is this weeks Friday 5:

1. You have a busy week, pushing out all time for preparing worship/ Sunday School lessons/ being ready for an important meeting ( or whatever equivalent your profession demands)- how do you cope?

I am great at avoidance, and my house tends to be less cluttered and my blog more up to date when there's lots to do.

But seriously, I will do whatever is next, and leave the rest until that is done. Or, whatever is going to have me in front of people will come first.

2. You have unexpected visitors, and need to provide them with a meal- what do you do?

I do not have unexpected visitors. My friends know never to come to my house unannounced. It has become a running joke. I am a ball of stress when anyone is in my house, because my perfectionism makes me worry about every detail - is it too hot, too cold; do they need something else to drink, is what I have in the house adequate to offer; yada, yada. It just is not fun.

Because my job as a music teacher requires me to be in charge and entertaining all the time, my friends are very graciously sensitive to my need for my house to be my shelter and hiding place.

Three discussion topics:

3. Thinking along the lines of this weeks advent theme; repentance is an important but often neglected aspect of advent preparations.....

And it's something we should be practicing all the time. I don't know about the rest of you, but I keep doing things I have to repent of. Pesky sin nature. The cool thing is, God's forgiveness has no limit.

4. Some of the best experiences in life occur when you simply go with the flow.....

I went with the flow with a vendor the other day and ended up getting about $800-$1000 of free equipment. Sometimes keeping your cool and going with the flow pays off in unexpected ways.

5. Details are everything, attention to the small things enables a plan to roll forward smoothly...

I try to be vigilant about details, and my department generally functions at high efficiency in this area. But it is easier to catch all the details when you are working with a good team.

Bonus if you dare- how well prepared are you for Christmas this year?

Not. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

You Tube - Potential Object Lesson?

There is such ease nowadays with filming things and sharing them. Everywhere we go, we should start making the assumption that someone with a cell phone could capture us doing whatever we are doing, and post it to You Tube, and, voila, everybody sees what we did.

Makes me want to make it good, just in case.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Rebuilding Eden

In all my contemplation of needs and wants and choosing to be content, it dawned on me. Ever since we got kicked out, we have been trying to find ways of rebuilding Eden in our image. We've got all kinds of things to make our lives easier and more fulfilling. Most of it just makes us more isolated and annoyed, and doesn't bring the contentment we were meant to have.

Contentment is, at least to some extent, a choice. Hebrews 13 says, "Be content with what you have, because God has promised, 'Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.'"

The best part of Eden - intimate communion with God - is still at hand, through the greatest gift of this season. Maybe I will choose to be content with that part of Eden and wait for God to rebuild the rest of it when He's ready.